NEW YORK, USA (AP) — Elton John called Pope Francis my hero for his compassion and push to accept gays in the Catholic church at his annual AIDS benefit.
John hosted the event, “An Enduring Vision: A Benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation,” Tuesday night in New York City, which raised US$3.7 million. He said Francis is pushing boundaries in the church and told the crowd: “Make this man a saint now, OK?” Ten years ago one of the biggest obstacles in the fight against AIDS was the Catholic Church. Today we have a pope that speaks out about it,” said John, earning cheers from the attendees at Cipriani’s on Wall Street.
Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays earlier this month, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families. An earlier draft of the document offered a welcoming tone of acceptance, but that was stripped away after the bishops failed to reach consensus on a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals.